Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time on KEXP, is "Šibensko Powerhouse" by JOHN, from the 2021 album Nocturnal Manoeuvres on Brace Yourself Records / Pets Care Records.
As one YouTuber comically remarked on the footage of JOHN’s Live on KEXP Performance from 2019’s International Clash Day celebration, “The best band with the worst SEO.” And they’re not wrong, trying to find a band that goes by the most common English first name in the world on the internet is an incredibly difficult task. But once discovered, the riches that the duo rewards you with are plentiful.
Made up of John Newton and Johnny Healey, the duo is an absolute force to be reckoned with. Their latest album Nocturnal Manoeuvres, released in October, takes the explosive riffs the two Johns have a penchant for and spreads them out into maximalist, psychedelic new territories. Our Song of the Day is the album’s early single “Šibensko Powerhouse,” a turbulent thumper that features vocals from none other than IDLES bassist Adam Devonshire for an extra layer of fury.
“The lyrics came from a now-distant memory of visiting a festival in another country,” offers drummer and lead vocalist Newton. “I remembered standing alone in baking 40 degree heat on the hillside outside of my apartment – only to hear a familiar song echoing live in the distance from over the hill’s crest. It was a once in lifetime moment that just stuck with me, a reminder of my small scale in the greater scheme of the world.”
Nocturnal Manoeuvres follows 2019’s Out Here on the Fringes. Watch the Ryan Gander-directed video for “Šibensko Powerhouse” below.